As I walked home tonight—for the first time in quite some time—I felt lighter.
I didn’t get out of work early, or finish some massive project on my to-do list.
I didn’t have a great run today. (It was a rest day.)
Nothing great happened.
And nothing terrible happened either. (To be honest, nothing terrible has happened lately–it’s just been how I’ve been dealing with things.)
I didn’t take a Xanax today.
Slowly, I think I’m turning things around.
Therapy has been wonderful. The therapist I’m seeing is very used to high-strung New Yorkers who want an action plan, and an action plan she’s given me. One of the things we’re focusing on is meditation objects–choosing objects that hold some sort of positive association for an area in my life I’m happy with and meditating on them in a calm state, and then trying to work myself back into an anxious state and then meditating on them from the anxious state so that when I’m in an actual anxious state, I can channel these same, positive thought.
I also got some great comments from you all about dealing with anxiety. I was curious about anything in my diet that might contribute, or anything I should add. Someone made the suggestion that magnesium helped (and I know it helps with muscle recovery, too), so I’ve added those supplements back in. I’m also limiting caffeine if I wake up feeling panicky at all. I usually don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I’ve felt myself tending to grab sugary snacks out of stress a bit more often than usual lately (mmmm cake pops) and sugar can be linked to anxiety.
A friend recommended Meditation Oasis, and I’ve downloaded a few podcasts from there that I listen to at work. Even if I’m not actually focusing on them and meditating, the calming voices help a lot. I’d love to make it back to yoga sometime soon, too.
Honestly, a few years ago, if someone had suggested meditation for stress relief, I probably would have laughed and thought that stuff was too hippie for me. But trying yoga slowly opened my mind to it, and I now totally embrace it.
I will admit that I’ve been eating more processed food lately than I should–and I know that doesn’t help either–but cooking has just not been in the cards for me lately. I also haven’t been very hungry. I hear anxiety’s an awesome way to not gain marathon weight.
I picked up that meal from Whole Foods last night and actually loved it. I tried Candle 79 last year and really liked it, so was really curious about how their frozen meals would be. This one had a pretty high sodium level (880mg) but I need a little extra sodium when marathon training, so I was okay with that. And it tasted good.
Do you meditate? September is nearly over, but my girl Amanda @ Run to the Finish is doing a September meditation challenge, if you want to participate.
What else do you do in times of high stress to keep calm…and carry on?